Monday, September 4, 2017

REMINISCING: The Kids Are Not (Card)Board

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated. Part of it is the fact that I’m still in vacation mode. I tried my best to keep it going while I was gone, but I was on vacation. I really didn’t feel like writing, and who wants to read about that? So, I figured I’d get back to it when we got home. Well, we’ve been home for a week, and this is the first day that I’ve actually written anything. While part of it was being stuck in that mindset, the other part was the unsettled feeling around the house as we all struggled to use one bathroom. That will be in its own story just a bit later.

Part of coming home was the idea we’d be coming home to a new bathroom. As a result, we had a large, cardboard box from the new vanity. Like children everywhere, that box quickly became a house to play in. In fact, it is currently sitting in the middle of the living room where it housed one of the kids as a bedroom overnight. Complete with windows and a door (and a cat-door), this thing is a way better tiny house than anything you’ll find on that ridiculous television show.

I remember one time that my parents got either a freezer or a refrigerator, and we had a huge box that it came in. At that time, the basement was still the family room rather than my bedroom, and we kids took it over as a play area away from the rest of the house. My mom cut a door and a couple of windows, complete with mullions, into the sides. There may have even been curtains on those windows using some scrap fabric. I drew some flowers around the windows like they were in a window box. Our address was 731 and a half.

We played with that box for weeks. We took extra care in making sure we didn’t ruin it so that we still had a place to play. However, one day, some friends came over, and they were a bit rougher than we were. Our house didn’t survive the onslaught. Our house was razed, with an empty lot waiting patiently for the next project that would bring us a new playhouse.

We never again had anything as big as that freezer box, although there was a washer or dryer box later on. This may be one of the first times that our girls got the boxes for houses. Sometimes they use boxes that are too small, but this one is like the ones I had when I was a kid. Today when the delivery guys come with new appliances, they unbox and unwrap the thing before they even take it off the truck. Then, they take away the garbage. It is rare that the cardboard ends up at the house.

For the most part, this works out great for the homeowner. It means there’s that much less to throw out. And in Lockport, with our measured garbage, this is an even bigger perk. The one thing that is truly lost, though, is the hours of fun that can be had by the kids at that house. That is just a little bit sad.

At our house, the cardboard box has been a lot of fun for the girls. They spent hours playing in it. The television wasn’t on. They were getting (mostly) along with each other. They spent some time designing and decorating their cardboard house. So far, they’ve kept it in the house and not tried to take it outside. I know that it’s coming, though. My kids are far more destructive than I was when I was a kid. They will wring every ounce of fun out of that cardboard house, until it can’t even stand on it’s own.

I’m sure those of you who are the same age as I am, or older, have fond memories of getting that new delivery and the box it came in. It is amazing how much fun kids can have with a simple cardboard box. They probably have more fun with that box than with the expensive, flashy electronics that they are so often found with. It’s good to see the girls have so much fun.

Craig Bacon is ready for school to start so he can get back on his writing schedule. He might have to sit in the cardboard box house for a little quiet until then.

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